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Mailbag: Does The Spencer Signing Alter Draft Needs?
Ok, Spencer is back, but we don't know about his current playing status. Does his signing change the way we look at the draft this year or not?
Rowan: It shouldn’t. I think the Spencer signing is more of a wait-and-see type deal. He’s been working out in Dallas and at Valley Ranch, so the team doctors and trainers should have a feel for where he’s at in his recovery. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still a while before he’s out practicing, but if they can get a fraction of the player they used to have in Spencer prior to the knee injury, then an affordable one-year deal makes sense. But it doesn’t mean defensive end is no longer a need.
David: It’s a pretty similar situation to the Henry Melton deal. Spencer is a great player, and you certainly want him as a starter on your line – provided he’s healthy. Having him on the roster and aiming to be healthy by September is definitely encouraging, and might lessen the pressure to draft defensive linemen a little bit. But there’s no way the Cowboys should be banking on Spencer to salvage their defensive end production. Maybe they don’t need to draft an end at No. 16 overall, but they still need to address the position in this draft.
We saw Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher do it. Who will be the next breakout Cowboy veteran? Orlando Scandrick?
Rowan:That’s as good a guess as any and certainly possible if he maintains the starting outside corner spot. He’s certainly not as seasoned a veteran as those others you mentioned, but I’ll go with Tyrone Crawford. The Cowboys had high hopes for him before the Achilles injury early in camp,
David: Entering his third year, I think it’s fair to call Morris Claiborne a veteran at this point – and it needs to be Claiborne. The No. 6 pick has accumulated more injuries than interceptions to this point in his career, and the pressure is on him to live up to his billing. He needs to make the jump if the Cowboys’ defense is to improve, and he’d also be doing himself a huge favor. The Cowboys will no doubt use his 2014 form to help decide whether or not to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract.